20 Questions with Anna Nikstad

We sat down (remotely) with the ripping, badass, TeamVivida ambassador and wakeboarding extraordinaire, Anna Nikstad to ask the fun questions - the ones she doesn't get for every magazine article or interview request. Although this doesn't follow the format of the classic, early 20th century American parlor game "20 Questions", we think Anna displayed the same creativity and wit one would expect from this game back in the day; although we'd imagine her as an independent, fiery 1940's heroin with plenty of moxi to outwit her opponent. Here's what Anna had to say as her modern day self...
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20 QUESTIONS
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How did you get into wakeboarding? What do you enjoy most about the sport?
My brothers introduced me to wake boarding when I was seven years old but I didn't pick it back up again until I was nearly 18 after I stopped playing soccer.
I think, the freedom, is what I enjoy most. Having the outlet to be creative and also push yourself, that’s what I love about wakeboarding.

What are your main motivations in what you do?
There are a few; I am motivated by myself- meaning I love pushing myself and seeing just how far I can take things. I am motivated by other women in extreme sports, not just wakeboarding. I love seeing other women break barriers and show up. It really makes me want to dig down and do the best that I can.

What is your dream wake location that you keep wanting to return to?
Hands down, CWC WakePark in the Philippines.
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Where is your favorite place to find peace, get some quiet and just be with your thoughts?
I’m really into being outdoors so anywhere thats wooded and away from any concrete.

Do you have any mantras or inspirational quotes you love or live by?
It’s not much of a mantra but more of an attitude. My dad is a huge mentor in my life, he always told me ‘whatever you do, do it like your hair is on fire’. Honestly, that has been the best advice anyone has ever given me.

Tell us about your upcoming Vivida collaboration!
Well I am super excited to be working with you guys on a Changing Poncho series including me and my asian rescue pup Kana! This collaboration represents loving life with your bestie, doing what you love (which for me is obviously wakeboarding) and living the Vivida Lifestyle!

What are your thoughts on sustainability, and do you find it hard to be ‘eco-friendly’ while on the road? Any tips?
I have always tried my best to maintain a sustainable lifestyle, however, traveling makes it harder. I like to use my Vivida Reusable Water-bottle and reusable straws to save on plastic. I try to recycle and repurpose as much as I’m able to. I’m one of those people that will pick trash up and put it in a bin as I commute, sorta weird..hahah. My advice would be travel light, try to be creative and ‘up-cycle’ what you can when on the go.
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If you could pick up any new sport, what would it be?
Hmmm. I recently started skateboarding but I've always wanted to spend a season snowboarding.

Any special hidden talents we should know about?
I can do a handstand for a really long time.

What’s your favorite Vivida item currently?
Definitely my Changing Poncho, it’s the most handy item in my board bag for sure.
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What have been your major career highlights/achievements so far?
Well, I am 3x US National Champion, 2x World Champion, 2x Female ROTY, also Female TOTY and readers poll Female ROTY

Do you set goals for yourself? Any resolutions for 2021?
I am always making goal lists and trick lists. I have to physically write it down in my notebook or else it drives me crazy. Every year I set new goals for myself and this year my Resolution is skin health and diet. Also, filming more and training to land new stuff on my wakeboard.

What areas do you feel that you need improvement in?
Man, I feel like there’s improvement to be had everywhere for me. Ha! I’d like to focus back on Kickers this year and expand my bag o’ tricks.

What is your training like?
Normally, my training consists of riding nearly 3-times a day at CWC Wake Park for 3 months straight. But currently, my off-season training is lots of cardio, trampoline and I work with a professional trainer a couple times a week.

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I don’t have much ritual, I just set aside for a little bit and quietly visualize what I am about to do. A few minutes before my run I start to control my breathing. I came to realize that I used to hold my breathe during my runs and I would be gassed at the end. So once I create a breathing tempo, then I’m ready.

What is your advice for women looking to become competitive in the sport?
Claim your spot and make it known.

If you could put a caption under 2020, Instagram style, what would it read?
“Do you want to see pictures of my dog?”
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What did you last sing to yourself?
"The Safety Dance" by, Men Without Hats
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If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
The ability to fly. 
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Who is a female in history that is most inspiring to you?
Mia Hamm is a professional female athlete that I always looked up to.
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Thanks, Anna! 💕